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2-min read

Cech mistake costs Chelsea as Wigan earn draw

Jordi Gomez scored an 88th-minute equalizer to earn struggling Wigan a 1-1 draw.

| Agencies

Updated:December 18, 2011, 2:03 AM IST
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Cech mistake costs Chelsea as Wigan earn draw
Jordi Gomez scored an 88th-minute equalizer to earn struggling Wigan a 1-1 draw.

Wigan: Jordi Gomez stunned Chelsea on Saturday, scoring an 88th-minute equalizer to earn struggling Wigan a 1-1 draw against the Premier League title hopefuls.

Monday's victory over leaders Manchester City on Monday had put the Blues back in the title race but they created little against Wigan until Daniel Sturridge tucked away Ashley Cole's pass in the 59th minute.

That looked likely to settle things until goalkeeper Petr Cech fumbled a weak effort from Hugo Rodallega and Gomez guided the ball into an empty net for his fourth goal in five games.

"It is a disappointing result," Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas said. "It was a hard-fought game with many chances on both sides, maybe more from Wigan. They fought hard to get the result here."

"I think Wigan had the momentum and the crowd was behind them and they got the goal they deserved - 1-1 was a fair result."

Villas-Boas recalled Frank Lampard to the starting XI after his match-winning penalty against Manchester City last weekend, with Brazilian midfielder Ramires dropping out of the squad due to injury.

Chelsea scored six goals in last season's corresponding fixture but the Latics have shown encouraging form in recent weeks and had the better of the game.

Sturridge looked lively early on, beating Latics' left-back David Jones to the byline with pace to win a corner, but the away side were unable to create any concrete chances.

The first shot on target wasn't registered until halfway through the opening period, with Jose Boswinga's curled cross from the right rebounding to midfielder Oriol Romeu, but his volley from 22 yards was excellently saved by the diving Ali Al Habsi.

Wigan players felt they should have had a penalty when Branislav Ivanovic pulled his left arm across his body and into a shot from Victor Moses, but the referee was unmoved.

At the interval, Villas-Boas made the first switch of the game, as Saloman Kalou entered at the expense of Romeu, with the visitors looking to increase the pressure on the hosts.

The Blues began the second half with renewed vigour, but were once again unable to seriously threaten the opposition goalmouth, and Wigan soon regained their composure and enjoyed a spell of their own.

Gomez tried his luck with a volley that went just the wrong side of the post before Cole was allowed to run into the Wigan half and pick out Sturridge with a diagonal ball. The striker took the ball down with one touch on the right of the area before lashing it in.

Villas-Boas tinkered once again, bringing on John Obi Mikel for a muted Juan Mata, as the west Londoners looked to shore up their advantage.

But Wigan committed more men forward - Franco di Santo came on for forward Connor Sammon and Hugo Rodallega for the left-back Jones - and Figueroa's low shot from the edge of the box was heading into the far corner before Cech got a hand to it.

But the keeper later failed to hold a poke toward goal from Rodallega and Gomez turned the ball into an empty net.

The result sees Wigan climb to within one point of safety, with Chelsea now four and six points behind Manchester United and league-leaders Manchester City respectively, who both play on Sunday.

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